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  1. I just got back from a short trip to Chengdu (and a day trip to Leshan) and was pretty underwhelmed by the "standard" tea. We went to a fancy tea shop and they did a full gong fu tasting for us and that was quite nice (and of course guilts one into buying tea, though I wanted to anyway), but most restaurants just unceremoniously plopped a large metal pot of barely lukewarm, preposterously weak tea down on our table, and at the famous and quite busy He Ming teahouse in central Chengdu, there were several choices of decent-sounding teas, and fair enough, the water provided was quite hot, but the amount of tea given in the gaiwan was fairly stingy for the 20 kuai they were charging. I actually got one of those 茶π teas, the rose and lychee, from what looked like a fridge, but was heated to 38ºC. Not hot. Literally body temperature. As I understood it, the Chinese drink lots of hot things (including lots of plain hot water), but it seemed that "hot" rarely exceeded slightly warm. Is this just a phenomenon in Sichuan?
  2. Hassouni

    DARTO pans

    Haven't had time for mine yet
  3. Hassouni

    DARTO pans

    let us know how you do!
  4. I've been lured into this whole CSO talk only to discover it's discontinued. Are there any other similar products on the market with steam? It seems from my research that the Brevilles do not have steam.
  5. Uigedail is fantastic, so is the standard run Ardbeg 10. In Islay I'm also a big fan of the Lagavulin 8 (and the special game of Thrones release 9 year), as well as the cask-strength Laphroaig 10, though that's a different beast entirely.
  6. Hassouni

    DARTO pans

    And here they are. The gunk is next level. As someone else said, it's almost as if they've been shellacked, except that shellack isn't sticky. How the hell do you get this stuff off? My last set weren't this bad at all
  7. Citadelle is made by Maison Ferrand. I have some issues with their practices in the rum department, but it's a great gin Ford's Officer's Reserve is the navy strength one, and it's damn good
  8. Hayman's London Dry. At my bar it beat out Beefeater and Ford's (which are both great), plus it's very affordable and completely a family business. Cadenhead's Old Raj (the stronger of the two) is one of the best gins I've tried, and is made with saffron. Barr Hill standard Gin is not aged, and is just flavored with juniper and honey. It's very light. You're probably thinking of the Tom Cat, which is aged and very strongly flavored. Brooklyn Gin is quite a nice "new Western" style, makes a great 50-50 martini Gin Mare and Mahon Gin from Spain are both complex and interesting... The list goes on and on. If you're interested in tasting notes before committing to a full bottle, you might want to invest either in Tristan Stephenson's or Dave Broom's gin books, which have a lot of detail about the major available bottles.
  9. Jambalaya and gumbo at Coop's Central Grocery Muffuletta (the original and best) Napoleon House Killer Po Boys either standalone or in the back of Erin Rose Remoulade by Antoine's for fresh oysters Ditto Drago's, it's not in the Quarter but is a very short walk Ropa Viejo and Cuban cocktails at Manolito Late night sandwiches from Verti Marte That's just in the Quarter, outside there are tons of great options. New Orleans is arguably the best eating city in the country. Avoid Bourbon Street and you'll be doing just fine
  10. Just tried these, and unlike the frozen ones which I microwave, I steamed these for 13 minutes, and I thought they were fantastic
  11. Heavily inspired by @My Confusing Horoscope‘s gumbo from This post. Did basically the same thing except I added the full trinity, and used Slap Ya Mama extra hot plus fresh black pepper as the seasoning...and added what passes for andouille in DC, finished with green onion and parsley. It was absolutely delicious! Just as thick as using a roux, if not more, and not slimy or ropy (but I do love okra), and full of deep flavors. Cooking down the okra really does take a lot of time and attention, but this is a fantastic alternative to more standard dark roux gumbo
  12. Hassouni

    DARTO pans

    Just pulled the trigger on a 20 pan and 27 and 35 paellas. Damn. Already have a 25 and a 27 pan. And this is me who doesn't have much time to cook anymore. Tells you how badass I think Darto is
  13. Hassouni


    First attempt ever at jambalaya. One week ago tonight I had the rather epic rabbit, sausage, shrimp, and Tasso jambalaya from Coop’s Place on Decatur in the Quarter, and have been craving it ever since. Tonight’s was simple: locally made andouille, chicken thighs, all browned, trinity cooked in remaining oil until very brown and reduced, meat added back, garlic, green onion, and seasonings added, and cooked in plain water, with jasmine rice. Deeeelicious. Who knew you could get soccarat in jambalaya? Served with maquechoux (sort of) made with heirloom tomatoes and local corn
  14. Wish I could be there for that one. I had two of their red hot poker drinks
  15. It's very interesting, I went to Booker & Dax a few times, and I didn't feel the same way. Perhaps it's Don Lee's influence at EC, or a synergy created between Don and Dave?
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